House & Home Organizing

Sorting Your Laundry for the Best Results

Did you know that there’s more to sorting your laundry than just tossing it in the washing machine? Follow these tips to get the best results when it comes to laundry – so your white t-shirts don’t end up pink.

sorting your laundry

Sorting your laundry seems pretty easy, right? Just toss it all in the washing machine and go on about your day.

Nope. It’s not as simple as that. Unless you want your white t-shirts to end up an odd shade of pink or some other weird color. (Yes, this has happened to me.)

If you don’t want that to happen, then it’s best to learn how to sort your laundry the right way. Follow the tips below to get the best results on laundry day.

Sorting Your Laundry 101

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  • Sort by clothing type: Make sure you read the tags before throwing the item in the washing machine. Some clothes need to be washed by hand and some need to be laid flat to dry.
    • Towels: Towels produce a lot of lint, which sticks to other types of clothing. Wash towels separately or with sheets and blankets. However, I prefer to wash a load of towels separate from everything else.
    • Heavier items: Heavier items, such as sweatshirts and hoodies, take longer to dry than lighter ones. Overdrying clothing can ruin the fiber in clothing.
    • Specialty clothes: Clothes that have zippers and buttons should be washed separately from knit clothing and lingerie because they can tear those types of clothing in the wash.
  • Sort by color: Keep colors separate so the dyes do not bleed onto other clothing items.
    • Whites: Whites should stay with whites because you want them to stay white. All it takes is one red sock to ruin a load of white socks and t-shirts. Also, whites should be washed in a warmer water temperature for the best result.
    • Bright Colors: Pinks, oranges, purples, and reds can be mixed together. However, reds are known for bleeding onto other fabrics, so wash reds separately if you’re unsure.
  • Sort by the amount of dirt: Clothing that is badly stained or has a lot of dirt on it should be washed separately from other clothing and on a longer, heavy-duty cycle.
  • Check pockets: Don’t forget to check all the pockets before putting them into the wash. Receipts and gum can cause a huge mess! (Speaking from experience here!)
  • Turn clothes inside out: Turning your clothes inside out protects them during the wash and keeps jeans from turning white at the seams.
  • Pretreat: Make sure you pretreat any stains before washing. Otherwise, the stain will set in and never come out. Click here to see how to pretreat stains with baking soda.

Following these steps to sorting your laundry will prevent any major laundry disasters. I’ve had quite a few of those and it didn’t take me long to learn what to do before every wash.

How do you sort your laundry? What method works best for you?


For more cleaning and organizing tips, I recommend these:
How to Let Go of Sentimental Stuff
How to Clean Your Mattress the Right Way
10 Best Organizers for Your Bedroom
Bedroom Organizing Ideas That Will Work for Anyone


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sorting your laundry for the best results
sorting the laundry

Michelle

Michelle is a stay-at-home homeschool mom who loves DIYs and living a frugal lifestyle.

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51 Comments

  1. Really good tips πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  2. Lellalee says:

    Thank you for these really useful tips – my children need a lesson in the art of sorting washing! xxx

    1. You’re welcome. I’m glad you found them helpful! As soon as my daughter hit 13 earlier this year her floor seemed to become her laundry basket. lol

  3. I learnt my lesson a few years ago when I put a red scarf in with my whites, and turned them pink! Now I always make sure to separate colours. I also check the pockets of all my clothes – tissues are the main culprit for me! I never thought about washing heavier items separately though – I didn’t know that over-drying could ruin the fibre! Thanks for these tips.

    1. Oh no! Similar things have happened to me so I get it. Lesson learned. πŸ™‚ Thank you for reading! I’m glad you found these tips helpful.

  4. Good tips Michelle !! Earlier I faced the problem of unsorted clothing w in the washing machine !! Then I learnt to sort the clothes !! πŸ’•

    1. Thank you! It’s great that you learned early on. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you found these tips helpful!

  5. I already sort clothes by colour and ‘type’ sometimes too, but a good point on the weight of clothing. And an excellent reminder to check the pockets – that can get very messy if you don’t and discover you had some tissues in there!!
    Great tips xx

    1. Yes, check the pockets. I’ve had to learn the hard way since my husband puts every receipt in his pocket and then forgets about them. πŸ˜‰ And tissues are no fun, either! πŸ™‚

  6. Great tips! These are things that I am doing but in my college years I was absolutely clueless and I definitely would’ve benefited from this post, I ruined quite a few laundry items back in the day!…I could totally see this as a typed out note added to a high school graduates congrats card…along with a bottle of laundry detergent πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you! I think we’ve all learned the hard way at some point. I’ve turned my husband’s t-shirts pink before. (Oops!) That’s a great idea to add these tips to a bottle of laundry detergent for a high school graduate! πŸ™‚

  7. These are great tips!

    1. Thank you so much!

  8. Thanks for the tips, Michelle. I used to do laundry, but now I’m spoiled because my wife does it. I try to help by folding laundry, but apparently I never do it right. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you for reading! That reminds me of an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where he pretends like he doesn’t know how to do things so he doesn’t have to help. One of them is folding the laundry. πŸ˜‚

  9. Awesome tips. I do most of these until I have a lazy day and then…well…it’s not good haha!

    1. Thank you! I know about those lazy days all too well! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  10. Michelle, I also have learned the hard way about checking pockets especially for tissues (that make a MESS if not retrieved!) I didn’t know about turning jeans inside out until last year. (Considering how long I’ve been the laundry lady of our home, that’s major!) Thanks for your list! Weekend blessings! VA πŸ™‚

    1. Tissues are the worst! My husband is really bad about leaving receipts in his pocket so I had to start checking them a long time ago. I don’t enjoy picking the little pieces of paper off clothes. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! πŸ™‚

  11. Excellent tips, tissues I think everyone misses this especially if tired or rushing. Colours which run can be helped by soaking them in salt and cold water before their first wash.

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, tissues are the worst. Thank you for the tip on preventing colors from running. I’ll remember that next time. πŸ™‚

  12. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    Sounds so easy πŸ€”

    1. It is easy! It just requires a little extra time. πŸ˜€

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        My wife doesn’t let me do laundry lol!!

        1. I’m not even going to blame her. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

          1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

            I don’t want to hear it when y’all fuss about having all that laundry to wash lol!!!

            1. Haha! I don’t complain because I’ve already told my husband I do the inside work and he does the outside. πŸ˜‚

              1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

                That’s how it goes around here. But in my free time I like to try to help by maybe doing some laundry to lighten her load….

                Y’all take your clothes seriously lol!

              2. That’s sweet of you! Yes we do! LOL!!

              3. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

                πŸ™„πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

  13. This post made me smile so much because i get quite obsessive over the laundry piles. I get so triggered when I see people mixing colours with whites or colours I wouldn’t usually wash together. Sounds like you have a good system! x

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is bothered by mixing the laundry piles. πŸ™‚ Thank you for reading!

  14. I’ll keep your turn it inside out idea in mind! I used to grumble about my kids giving me baskets full of inside out clothes. Who knew it was actually helping their clothes wear and wash better! Great tips!

    1. Sometimes I think they know better than we do even if they don’t realize what they’re doing. πŸ˜€

      1. Lol! That is a very positive way of looking at things! Laundry is my least favorite chore and I am looking for all the positivity I can get!

  15. Very useful tips! Yes, it happened also to me to get some pink or grey t-shirts πŸ€ͺ

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you found them helpful. I’m glad I’m not the only one to end up with different colored shirts. πŸ˜‚

  16. Awesome tips as always, Michelle. I laughed at ‘sort by the amount of dirt’. Not sure I can do that because I might get triggered. Haha!

    1. Thank you so much! Haha! I completely understand about the dirt! πŸ˜€

  17. Thanks for the tips! Actually, I just sort by color .

    1. You’re welcome! I do, too mostly unless there’s something that needs to be washed by hand. We don’t have many “special” clothes. πŸ™‚

  18. I always wash towels separate and my bed sheets separate, I may occasionally toss in pj’s with my sheets but mostly I was them separate, but with the rest I’ve gotten real lazy and I just toss everything together, you’ve encouraged me here to separate my delicate clothes and wash them separate from the heavier ones. Thanks Michelle great tips xoxo

    1. I wash my towels and sheets separately, too. I just think it makes the sheets feel softer for some reason. I’m glad you found this encouraging! πŸ™‚ I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  19. These are such great, practical tips! I’m so guilty of not emptying out my pockets before putting my clothes in the washer though. You don’t know how many coins I’ve found at the bottom of the machine, it’s crazy!

    1. Thank you so much! I put a container by my washing machine to collect all the coins and that thing would fill up fast! LOL! Now it sits empty because my husband only uses his bank card.

      1. Glad to know I’m not the only one! πŸ˜„

  20. Great tips! I’m a laundry snob. I don’t dry most of my clothes and they get ran on gentle cycle. They last so much longer. I have clothes that I’ve had for 10 years. Still doing good! 😊

    1. Thank you! And thanks for sharing that, too. That’s a really good idea! πŸ™‚

      1. My pleasure…it’s what I do. πŸ™‚

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